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The council must apply to Metro for approval to have the Sherwood West area officially brought inside city cimits.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF SHERWOOD - Metro, the regional government, is the agency that must approve the Sherwood West area to have it officially brought inside Sherwood City limits.With the opening of Sherwood's beautiful new high school, our community has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to decide the future of the vacant lands around the 74-acre high school campus.

The company I work for – Metropolitan Land Group – owns land around the high school and our goal is as simple as it is bold: let's build the best new neighborhood in Oregon around the best new high school in Oregon with housing, parks, trails and fields all safely connected to the YMCA and the rest of Sherwood neighborhoods by an iconic pedestrian bridge.

The timeline for planning and building new neighborhoods in Sherwood West is 10 to 20 years – if we start this year. In recent years, the city of Sherwood has already spent considerable public funds to study and plan for the future of Sherwood West. A citizen advisory committee is currently meeting to discuss it further.

But soon, the city council must act by applying to Metro – the regional government – for approval to have the Sherwood West area officially brought inside Sherwood City limits.

Without city council action this year, however, the window to start the planning process for Sherwood West will be closed for several years and the high school campus will remain isolated and alone across Hwy 99 for at least its first decade serving our community. Is that what we want? We think it's better to begin the visioning and planning process now — and most voters in Sherwood do too.

In February, as a part of our due diligence and planning, we hired research professionals to conduct a poll of what Sherwood residents and voters wanted to see happen west of Highway 99, around the new high school.

Here's some of what we learned: by a 64% to 24% margin, voters want to see residential areas for families, seniors and first-time homebuyers, not business and commercial development; 60% believe the city should start planning now and 65% believe new residential areas will generate significant new tax dollars to help pay for local schools and services.

While the survey was informative, we also want to hear what others in Sherwood think about the future of our community and Sherwood West in particular. That's why we've launched a website, HYPERLINK "http://www.oursherwoodfuture.com" www.oursherwoodfuture.com, where you can share your vision of the area around the high school. You can also read more of our public polling results and learn about some of our ideas for this area. Please visit the website and share your imagination with us.

I'm the father of a student who's attended Sherwood Schools for the past decade and am active in the Sherwood Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. I care about what happens in this community and around our schools. Metropolitan Land Group is locally owned with a proven track record over many years of working with communities in Washington County to envision and plan high-quality residential and commercial communities.

We understand that with opportunity comes responsibility. This is why we are eager to partner with the city of Sherwood — as we have done in Hillsboro, Tigard, Beaverton, King City and elsewhere — to help our community realize its future goals, ambitions, and dreams.

We look forward to further investing in and working with the people and leaders of Sherwood to make this a reality.

Marc Farrar is the director of community relations for Metropolitan Land Group, a Beaverton-based real-estate company, and Sherwood property owner.


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